You may have completed the same task time and time again without any injury, or you may have been asked to do something completely different from your job description on the day your accident occurred. Either way, accidents can happen. Unfortunately, the ways you could be injured at work are as many and varied as the jobs and sectors you could work in.
Here are some of the ways you could be injured at work
Slips, Trips & Falls
One of the most common workplace injuries in any industry is slips, trips and falls. This may be a result of wet or slippery floors such as an employee slipping in bathrooms or tripping over supplies or others’ belongings on the floor. While employees need to pay attention to what is happening around them, it is also the employer’s responsibility to follow safety guidelines such as ensuring spills are cleaned promptly and nothing is lying on the ground.
Muscle strains are also a common workplace injury, especially for those who regularly lift heavy items. Back and neck strains are highly common in the workplace. To reduce the likelihood of these injuries occurring, employers should ensure their staff partake in some basic training on proper lifting techniques.
Repetitive Strain Injury
While this type of injury is less obvious than others, it is extremely harmful in the long run. It can be caused by a few tasks including repetitive activity such as typing and using a computer for prolonged periods of poor posture. The condition can affect various parts of the body including the wrist, hands, shoulders, and neck. The use of ergonomic equipment and employee training is vital in minimising the number of cases in the workplace.
Exposure to Loud Noise
Experiencing loud noises at work can lead to permanent damage to people’s hearing. It may be gradual due to exposure to noise over time, or it could be caused by sudden loud noises. People may also experience tinnitus (ringing or buzzing in the ear), a distressing condition that can affect various aspects of life including their sleep. Experiencing loud noise at work can also interfere with communications, making warnings harder to hear and reducing awareness of their surroundings.
Walking into Injuries
Most people have done this at some point in their life. Whether you’re distracted or feeling under the weather, it’s not difficult to accidentally run into the sharp end of a table, door, or cabinet. This can result in various injuries including head, neck, or foot injuries. To avoid these accidents, employees should remain vigilant and attempt to sustain a hazard-free work environment.
Hit by a falling object
Plenty of workers find themselves on the receiving end of falling objects, particularly in warehouse-type environments. Objects which fall from shelves or out of cupboards can cause some nasty injuries also, especially if the individual who ends up feeling the full force doesn’t see it coming.
Crashes and collisions
Accidents resulting in crashes or impact injuries are also quite frequent at work. Whether they involve cars, lorries or even smaller vehicles such as forklift trucks, they can have seriously nasty consequences. Employers must ensure that they are wearing their seatbelts and that safety precautions are in place and in use where appropriate.
All sorts of office implements can end up causing a painful cut from power saws to paper trimmers. The most common causes of these lacerations include poor training, inadequate safety procedures and failure to wear the proper protection. Companies can help prevent such accidents by providing safety equipment and putting the correct procedures (including training) in place.
Inhaling toxic fumes
Those who work with hazardous chemicals may be at risk of skin or eye reactions as well as potentially more serious injuries when exposed to them without protection. Protective equipment is paramount in these situations, so employers must be sure to provide workers with the gear they need to avoid dangerous exposure.
Fights in the workplace
These tend to happen more than you think. Workplace tensions can bubble under for months or even years before spilling over into physical confrontation. Fights in the workplace can, unsurprisingly, result in nasty injuries. Effective procedures for dealing with employee grievances can help reduce the risk of them coming to blows, though.
If you are suffering from a workplace injury and feel that it is a result of your employer’s negligence, you may be eligible for a work accident claim. Contact our team of experienced solicitors today to find out how we can help you.